Just in time for the winter holidays, Adventures of the Penguin King, directed by Anthony Geffen and narrated by Tim Allen, opens today, December 6, bringing the wild adventures of the sub-Antarctic to select theaters and On Demand.
This live-action documentary follows the life of Rex, a young King Penguin, as he matures from bachelor to family man. The action starts with Rex returning to his nesting grounds, Penguin City, after a 3 year hunt in the open ocean. His mission is to find a mate and raise a chick. In spite of his awkward bravado, Rex is lucky enough to find a match amongst the millions of other penguins and the happy couple soon welcomes an egg into the world.
The cinematography is stunning, with sweeping views of the icy ocean, blue skies, snowy mountains, giant elephant seals, and soaring birds. The narration by Tim Allen keeps the story moving along with a warm and funny script written by Phillip LaZebnik (Pocahontas, Mulan, Prince of Egypt).
I watched this movie with my 7 year old daughter and her interest really kicked in with nurturing of the egg and the penguin family's struggle to feed and protect their chick. Rex and his mate Patagonia (or "Patty" for short) must brave the harsh elements, predatory birds, leopard seals, and orca whales to provide shelter and food for their little family. Although the life and death drama of the penguins is real, there are no graphic scenes of death.
My daughter and I fully enjoyed the movie and would recommend it to families seeking a more educational entertainment option this season. We learned a lot about the harsh sub-Antarctic environment and the lives of penguins without feeling like we were being "schooled". The suspense is real, but overall the tale is a gentle one that is suitable for children of all ages. However, because of the length of the movie, if seeing it in a theater I would recommend it for school-aged children.
Adventures of the Penguin King is available in select theaters and On Demand December, 6, 2013. You can see the trailer here. Running time is 1 hour 16 minutes. Not Rated.
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